houzz: Design Workshop: The Modern Dogtrot

21
Jan
2015

houzz: Design Workshop: The Modern Dogtrot

While the dogtrot house is primarily thought of as a Southern building type, its historical roots in the U.S. can be traced to the lower Delaware River valley colony of New Sweden — modern-day New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Swedish and Finnish settlers of North America in the 1600s brought with them a tradition of log building and the pair cottage. The pair cottage was a pair of log cabins set a short distance apart and joined by a sod-covered roof. The reason? Log cabins were limited in size (width, length and height) by the dimension of timber that could be easily managed using manpower and horsepower as well as the log’s taper. Longer logs had more taper and were less useful.And because a log cabin’s walls were structural and not easily modified, when a log cabin became too small for a family’s needs, the logical means to expand was to construct another one right beside it; thus the pair. Roofing over the intervening space afforded the extension a covered breezeway that gained popularity for its utility.